Mahomes and Fitzpatrick: The hot hands in the NFL

JERRIUS CAMPBELL, Sports Writer

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After three weeks of football, Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Fitzpatrick are dominating the league at the quarterback position.

Mahomes made his way from true freshman starter at Texas Tech to being drafted tenth overall in the 2017 draft. Now as a starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, he has met all the expectations in his second year in the league.

The second-year star took over for Alex Smith after a trade sent Smith to Washington for defensive back Kendall Fuller. Mahomes has carried the Chiefs to three straight wins with the league’s best quarterback rating (QBR) at 90.3.

In his first game, Mahomes scored four passing touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers defense and ended the game with 256 passing yards. In game two versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mahomes completed 23 of 28 pass attempts and peaked at his highest QBR this season with a 97.3, and threw for six touchdowns, leading the Chiefs to victory, 42-37.

In his last showing, the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 38-27.  Mahomes threw for 314 yards and completed24 passes as the Chiefs cruised to their third win of the season. Mahomes has made an incredible impact on the Chiefs offense, and leads the league in touchdowns with 13, setting the league record for most touchdown passes by a quarterback through the first three games of the season.

Let’s not forget veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and his new role as starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after starter Jameis Winston was suspended for violation of personal conduct. The three-game suspension ends after week three but the big question remains: Who will be the starter in Tampa Bay for the remainder of the season?

Jameis Winston came off a season where he had just over 60 percent in completion percentage and seems a little shaky down the stretch. Fitzpatrick on the other hand has been hot for the Bucaneers and looks to continue his dominance into week four. He currently sits second in QBR at 83.3 and second in passing touchdowns with 11. Fitzpatrick has thrown for over 400 yards in each of his 3 games, a first in the NFL.

It seems that Fitzpatrick has made a major impact on the Buccaneers offense and he should remain the starter over Winston. From the outside in, it looks as if the entire team has bought into Fitzpatrick’s system and his style of play. Just in the few games, the team’s chemistry has improved following big games by Fitzpatrick. With big name receivers DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, the Buccaneers may be a force to be reckoned with in the National Football Conference’s (NFC) South division.

As the season moves forward, the NFC South looks to be one of the toughest divisions in football. The Carolina Panthers are on the move to become a super bowl contender out of the NFC. Carolina signed safety Eric Reid to a one-year deal after he filed a grievance against the NFL for his controversial acts of kneeling alongside Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem. This new addition to the Panthers may give that defense the strength it needs in secondary to succeed.

The NFL season is in full swing and there is much more to look forward to.

The most dynamic wide receiver combo in the league has to be the Vikings wide outs, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. The undrafted tight end Thielen has proved to himself as well as Diggs that he is a force on the Vikings offense. The product of Minnesota State-Mankato leads the league receptions at 32 and 473 receiving yards.

With the Vikings being in the same division as the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, it will be interesting to see who takes the throne in the NFC North.

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